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The Apocryphal Old Testament Collection of the most important non-canonical Old Testament books designed for general use.

The Testament of Joseph, About Chastity

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Text Commentary

I.

1A copy of the Testament of Joseph.

When he was about to die he called his sons and his brothers and 2said to them, My children and brothers,

Listen to Joseph, Israel's loved one: Listen carefully, my sons, to your father. 3 I have seen in my life envy and death, But 1 Lit. ‘and’. I did not go astray in the truth of the Lord. 4 These my brothers hated me, but 1 Lit. ‘and’. the Lord loved me: They wanted to kill me, but 1 Lit. ‘and’. the God of my fathers kept me safe: They let me down into a pit, but 1 Lit. ‘and’. the Most High brought me up again. 5 I was sold into slavery, but 1 Lit. ‘and’. the Lord 2 So b l: II-l ‘the Lord of all’. set me free: I was taken into captivity, but 1 Lit. ‘and’. his strong hand supported me: I was assailed by hunger, but 1 Lit. ‘and’. the Lord himself fed me: 6 I was alone, but 1 Lit. ‘and’. God gave me comfort: I was ill, but 1 Lit. ‘and’. the Most High came to my help: I was in prison, but 1 Lit. ‘and’. the Saviour showed me favour; In bonds, and he released me; 7 Slandered, and he pleaded my cause; Reviled by the Egyptians, and he delivered me; Envied by my fellow-servants, 3 So II (lit. ‘in envyings with my fellow-servants’): b ‘envied and tricked’ (lit. ‘in envyings with tricks’). and he promoted me.

II.

1And thus it came about that Potiphar, the captain of Pharaoh's bodyguard, 1 Lit. ‘Pharoah's chief-cook’: already in the Gk. Old Testament the title seems to have changed its meaning (cp. especially Dan. ii. 14 , in both the Septuagint and Theodotion's translation, with Josephus, Ant. X. x. 3 (§197)). entrusted his household to me. 2And I had to struggle against a shameless woman, who was pressing me to transgress with her; but the God of my father Israel kept me 2 So b: II ‘delivered me’. from the burning flame. 3I was thrown into prison, I was beaten, I was mocked; but 3 Lit. ‘and’. the Lord caused the jailer to take pity on me. 4For he will not forsake those who fear him, whether it be darkness they are in, or prison, or distress, or need. 5For God is not ashamed as a man is ashamed, nor is he afraid like a mortal, nor is he weak or easily pushed out of the way like an earth-born human. 6But in all places he is near at hand, and gives comfort in different ways, though for a little while he may absent himself in order to test the disposition of the soul. 7By ten temptations he showed his approval of me, and in all of them I endured; for endurance is a first-rate 4 Lit. ‘great’. medicine, and fortitude bestows on us many excellent gifts.

III.

1How often did the Egyptian woman threaten me with death! How often did she give me over to punishment, and then call me back and threaten me, when I refused to have intercourse with her! 2And she would say to me, You shall be my lord, and lord of all I possess, if you will give yourself to me, and you shall be as our master. 3But I would remember the words of my father Jacob, 1 The text here is very confused, the MSS varying between ‘the words of my fathers’ and ‘the words of my father’ (with or without ‘Jacob’): b combines all possibilities and reads ‘the words of the fathers and of my father Jacob’ (cp. Jub. xxxix. 6): the text translated is found only in d. and I would go into my room and pray to the Lord. 4And I used to fast during those seven years, but 2 Lit. ‘and’. I looked to the Egyptian 3 i.e. to Potiphar. as if I were living on the fat of the land (for God grants those who fast for his sake the gift of a healthy look 4 Lit. ‘for those who fast for God's sake receive grace of face’. ). 5And if he was away from home, I would not drink wine; 5 So II-l d: b (l) d (?) ‘And if he gave me wine I would not drink it’. and for three whole days I would take my food and give it to the poor and the sick. 6And I used to get up early to seek the Lord and weep for the Egyptian woman of Memphis, for she kept on pestering me – even during the night she would come to me under the pretence that she was concerned about me. 7And at first, 6 So b d: II-d om. ‘And at first’. because she had no son, 7 Lit. ‘male child…a male’. she pretended to regard me as a son; and so I prayed to the Lord, and she bore a son. 7 So b d: II-d om. ‘And at first’. 8Thus, 8 So b: II om. for a time it was as a son that she embraced me, and I did not recognize the truth; but at last she tried to lure me 9 Lit. ‘she lured me’. into fornication. 9And when I realized it, I was ready to die with grief; and after she had gone away, I came to myself, and I made a lamentation for her for many days, because I was now aware of her wiles and her deceit. 10And I repeated to her the words of the Most High, in the hope that she might turn 10 So b: II ‘return’. from her evil lust.

IV.

1How often did she flatter me with words as a holy man, craftily in her talk praising my chastity in her husband's presence, while when we were alone she would do all she could to bring about my downfall. 2She would laud me openly as chaste, but in secret say to me, Have no fear of my husband, for he is convinced about your chastity; and even if anyone told him about us, he would not believe it. 3And because of all this 1 Lit. ‘In all these things’. I would lie on the ground in sackcloth and beseech God that the Lord would deliver me from the Egyptian woman. 4But when she saw she had achieved nothing, she came to me again under the pretence that she wanted to be instructed and learn the word of the Lord. 5And she said to me, if you want me to forsake idols, be persuaded by me, 2 So b: II ‘lie with me’. and I will persuade the Egyptian to give up idols too, and both of us will live as the law of your Lord requires. 3 Lit. ‘… give up idols, walking (pl.) in the law of your Lord’. 6But I said to her, The Lord requires 4 So II (lit. ‘wills’): b ‘says’. that his worshippers should not live unclean lives, nor has he any use for adulterers. 7And she made no reply, still craving for the satisfaction of her lust. 8And as for me, I gave myself even more to fasting and to prayer that the Lord might deliver me from her.

V.

1And again, on another occasion, she said to me, if you will not commit adultery, I will kill the Egyptian, and so take you as a lawful husband. 2And I, when I heard this, rent my robe and said, Woman, show some respect for the Lord, and do not do such an evil thing: 1 Lit. ‘this evil deed’. if you do, you will destroy yourself; for I will let everybody know of your impious plan. 3So she was frightened and begged me not to tell anyone about her wickedness. 4And she went away and sent me all kinds of delectable gifts to mollify me.

VI.

1,2And she sent me food mixed with incantations. And when the eunuch that brought it came, I looked up and saw a frightening man presenting me with a sword together with the dish; and I realized that she had had recourse to magic 1 Or ‘I realized that her scheme was’ to lead my soul astray. 3And when he had gone out, I wept; and I ate neither that nor any other of her food. 4So then, a day later, she came to me, and noticing the food said to me, Why is it you have not eaten any of the food? 5And I said to her, it is because you have filled it with death. Did you not say, I will serve idols no more, 2 Lit. ‘I do not approach idols’. but the Lord only? 6So I can tell you now that the God of my father revealed your wickedness to me through an angel, and I have kept the food 3 Lit. ‘kept it’. as evidence against you, in the hope that you might see it and repent. 7But so that you can learn that the wickedness of evil-doers has no power over those who worship God in chastity, (I took some of the food and ate it in front of her, saying,) The God of my fathers and the angel of Abraham will be with me. 8And she fell on her face at my feet and wept; and I lifted her up and admonished her. 9And she promised not to transgress again.

VII.

1But because her heart was set 1 So b: II ‘was still set’. on me and she was still hoping to seduce me, 2 Lit. ‘…set on me with a view to licentiousness’. she took to groaning and throwing herself to the ground. 3 So b: II ‘and looking sad’. 2And when the Egyptian saw her, he said to her, Why are you looking so sad? 4 Lit. ‘Why has your face fallen?’ And she said, I am pained at heart, and my spirit's groanings distress me. And he took special care of her, although there was nothing wrong with her. 3Then she rushed in to me, while her husband was away from home, 5 Lit. ‘was still outside’. and said to me, I shall hang myself, or throw myself down a well, or over a cliff, if you will not be persuaded by me. 6 So b: II ‘if you will not lie with me’. 4And when I saw that the spirit of Beliar was troubling her, I prayed to the Lord. 5And I said to her, Why are you so troubled and distraught, and blinded by your sins? Do not forget that if you kill yourself, Setho, your husband's concubine, your rival, will ill-treat your children and obliterate your memory from the earth. 6And she said to me, So then you do love me! It is enough for me that you are concerned about my life and my children's lives: I have a good hope that I shall attain my end. 7 Lit. ‘that I shall enjoy my desire’. 7And she did not realize that it was because of my God I had said this, and not because of her. 8For if a man has yielded to the passion of an evil desire, and become a slave to it, as she had, whatever good thing he hears about the passion he is overcome by, he takes as a justification of his evil desire. 8 Lit. ‘he takes it towards an evil desire’.

VIII.

1I tell you, my children, it was about noon when she left me; and I spent the rest of the day and all the night in prayer to the Lord. And about dawn I got up in tears, begging to be rescued from the Egyptian woman. 2In the end, she took hold of my clothes and forcibly dragged me to her to have intercourse with me. 3And when I saw that in her madness she was holding onto my clothes by force, I fled naked. 4And she falsely accused me, 1 So II: b adds ‘to her husband’. and the Egyptian imprisoned me in his house; and next day he had me flogged and sent me to Pharoah's prison. 2 So II: b wrongly repeats ‘the Egyptian sent me to the prison in his house’. 5And because I was now in fetters the Egyptian woman was prostrate with grief; and she heard about me, how I was singing praises to the Lord, although 3 So b (lit. ‘being’): II om. in the house of darkness, and rejoicing with a cheerful voice, and glorifying my God – for I had been at last set free from the Egyptian woman. 4 Lit. ‘– only that by the occasion I had been set free.…’

IX.

1And she sent to me frequently saying, If you will consent to grant me my desire, then I will release you from your bonds and set you free from the darkness. 2But the idea of giving in to her never entered my head; for God prefers a man, who in a den of darkness fasts in chastity, to the man who lives in extravagance and wantonness in his apartments in a palace. 1 So l (lit. ‘in the inner rooms of palaces’): gm eaf (with a one-letter difference in the Gk.) ‘in the inner rooms of kings’; b ‘in inner rooms’. 3(And the man who lives in chastity wants glory too, and if the Most High 2 So b: II ‘And if the man…too, and the Most High…’ knows that it is good for him, he bestows this on him also, even as he did on me.) 4How often, although unwell, did she come down to me in the dead of night and listen to my voice as I prayed; but when I heard her groanings I kept quiet. 5For when I was in her house she would bare her arms and breasts and legs to entice me into having intercourse with her; for she was more than ordinarily beautiful, and she adorned herself especially to beguile me. But the Lord protected me from her devices.

X.

1So you see, my children, what great things fortitude can do, together with prayer and fasting. 2And you too – if you strive for chastity and purity in fortitude and humility of heart, the Lord will dwell in you, for he loves chastity. 3And wherever the Most High dwells, even though a man encounters envy, or slavery, or slander, or darkness, 1 So II: b om. ‘or darkness’. the Lord who dwells in him, because of his chastity, not only rescues him from the evils, but also exalts him and glorifies him, even as he did me. 4For in every way man is under constraint, in deed and word and thought. 5My brothers know how my father loved me, and yet I did not set myself above them in my heart: 2 So b: II ‘…in my mind…in my heart’. although but a child, I had the fear of God in my mind, 2 So b: II ‘…in my mind…in my heart’. for I knew that all things will pass away. 6And I knew my proper place, and I honoured my brothers; and out of respect for them 3 Lit. ‘and because of fear of them’. I kept quiet when I was being sold, so that I did not tell the Ishmaelites my race, or that I was a son of Jacob, a great and powerful man.

XI.

1You too, then, must have the fear of God before your eyes 1 So II: b om. ‘before your eyes’. in everything you do, 2 So II: b ‘in what you do’. and honour your brothers; for everyone that keeps the law of the Lord will be loved by him. 2And when I came to the Indocolpitae with the Ishmaelites, they questioned me, and I said, I am their home-born slave, so as not to shame my brothers. 3And the senior among them said to me, You are no slave: only to look at you makes that clear enough. And he threatened me with death. 4But I said, I am their slave. And when we came into Egypt they began to quarrel over me, about which of them should pay money for me and take me as his own. 5However, it was agreed that I should be left in Egypt with one of their retailers until they came back again with more goods for sale. 3 Or ‘with the profits of their trading’. 6And the Lord made the retailer well-disposed towards me, and he entrusted his household to me. 7And the Lord blessed him through me, so that he became richer and richer. 4 Lit. ‘and he multiplied him in silver and gold’. 8And I was with him three months and five days.

XII.

1 It was at that time that the Memphian woman, the wife of Petephris, passed in a chariot 1 So II-g: b g om. ‘in a chariot’. with a great display, and she cast her eyes in my direction, for the eunuchs had told her about me. 2And she said to her husband with reference to the retailer, He has got his riches through a young Hebrew; and they say that he was stolen out of the land of Canaan. 3Now then, see that justice is done to him and take the youth away to be your steward; and the God of the Hebrews will bless you, for the favour of heaven 2 Lit. ‘for favour from heaven’. is on him.

XIII.

1And Petephris was persuaded by what she said, and he ordered the retailer to be brought; and he said to him, What is it that I hear, that you steal people 1 Lit. ‘souls’. out of the land of the Hebrews 2 So b: II ‘the land of Canaan’. and sell them as slaves? 2But the retailer fell on his face and implored him, saying, Please, my lord, I do not understand what you are saying. 3But he said, Where then, did you get your Hebrew servant from? And he said, The Ishmaelites put him in my charge until they came back. 4And he did not believe him but ordered him to be stripped and beaten. And when he persisted in his statement 3 So II: b om. ‘in his statement’. Petephris said, Let the young man be brought. 5And when I was brought in, I did obeisance to the chief eunuch (for he was third in rank beside Pharoah and in charge of all the eunuchs, with a wife and children and concubines). 6And he took me apart from him and said to me, Are you a slave or a freeman? 7And I said, A slave. 4 The bracketed words in verses 7 and 8 are not found in II. And he said [to me], Whose [slave are you]? 8And I said [to him], The Ishmaelites'. And [again] he said to me, How did you become their slave? And I said, They bought me out of the land of Canaan. 5 So II: b ‘out of Canaan’. 9And he did not believe me and said, 6 And he did not…said: so b; II ‘And he said to me’. You are lying. And he ordered me to be stripped and beaten.

XIV.

1But the Memphian woman was looking out of the window while I was being beaten, and she sent to her husband, saying, What you are doing 1 Lit. ‘Your judgement’. is unjust, for you are punishing a free man that has been stolen as if he were an evil-doer. 2And when, after being beaten, I made no change in what I said, he ordered me to be imprisoned, Until, he said, the boy's owners come. 3And his wife said to him, Why are you keeping him under arrest? He came here as a captive and is a well-bred boy: far better set him free and make him one of your servants. 4(For she wanted to see me as a result of her sinful yearning; and I was completely unaware of it.) 5But he said to the Memphian woman, It is not the custom 2 This is implied in all MSS and added explicitly in g l d m Arm. of the Egyptians to take away what belongs to others before proof is given. 6This he said with reference to the retailer; and about me he said that I must be kept in prison. 3 So b: II ‘and the boy, he said, must be kept in prison’.

XV.

1And twenty-four days afterwards the Ishmaelites came. And they had heard that my father Jacob was mourning for me. 2And they said to me, How was it that you said you were a slave? We have discovered that you are the son of a great man in the land of Canaan, 1 So II: b ‘in Canaan’. and your father is in mourning 2 So b: II adds ‘for you’. in sackcloth. 3And again I could have wept, 3 So b (lit. ‘And again I wanted to weep’): II ‘And I wanted very much to weep’. but I restrained myself so as not to shame my brothers. And I said, I do not know anything about that at all: I am a slave. 4Then they made up their minds to sell me in case I should be found in their possession. 5For they were afraid that Jacob might wreak a savage vengeance on them; for it was reported 4 So b: II ‘for they heard’. that he was a great one with the Lord and with men.† 6Then the retailer said to them, Release me from the judgement of Petephris. 7And they came and asked me, saying, He was bought by us with money. And he set us free. 5 Or ‘And he sent us away’. The text of verses 6 and 7 is clearly in disarray. In verse 7 there are wide variations between the MSS, from no one of which, when taken by itself, is it possible to construct a consistent sense, nor, when all are taken together, is it possible to reconstruct a hypothetical original with any degree of probability. The translation offered is a fairly literal rendering of what is found in b.

XVI.

1And the Memphian woman told her husband to buy me, For I hear (said she) they are selling him. 2And she sent a eunuch to the Ishmaelites and asked them to sell me. And the chief of the bodyguard summoned the Ishmaelites and also asked them to sell me. 1 So most MSS. In b g d c there is an omission through homioteleuton resulting in the whole verse appearing as ‘And he (she?) sent a eunuch to the Ishmaelites and asked them to sell me’. 3And as he was not able to come to an agreement with them, 2 So b: II om. ‘to come to an agreement with them’. he withdrew. But the eunuch who had been sounding them out told his mistress, They are asking an enormous price for the boy. 4And she sent another eunuch, saying, Even if they want two minas in gold, do not worry or be sparing with the gold: only buy the boy and bring him. 5And he paid them eighty pieces of gold for me, but he told the Egyptian woman that a hundred had been paid for me. 6And although I had seen it, 3 So b: II ‘And although I knew it’. I kept quiet, so that the eunuch should not be called to account. 4 Or ‘tortured’. So b: II ‘put to shame’ (g d m have an obviously secondary form of the sentence, ‘so that I should not shame the eunuch’ – cp. xi. 2, xv. 3, xvii. 1).

XVII.

1You see, my children, how much I had to put up with in order not to shame my brothers. 2So you too must love one another and by your endurance hide one another's faults. 3For God delights in brotherly concord and in the inclination of a heart directed to love. 4And when my brothers came into Egypt, when they discovered that I had returned their money to them, and I did not 5reproach them but rather welcomed them, and when, after Jacob's death, I showed even more love towards them and did even more than he had told me to, they were astonished. 1 So b: II om. ‘they were astonished’. 6For I would not let them suffer even the most trivial hardship: indeed, I gave them everything I had. 7Their sons were my sons, and my sons as their slaves: their life 2 Lit. ‘soul’. was my life, 2 Lit. ‘soul’. and all their suffering was my suffering, and every weakness of theirs my own feebleness: my land was their land, their will my will. 3 So II: b ‘my will their will’. 8And I did not arrogantly exalt myself among them because of my worldly glory, but I was among them as one of the least.

XVIII.

1So if you too, my children, live in accordance with the Lord's commands, he will exalt you here, 1 Or ‘in this world … in eternity’. and he will bless you with what is good for ever. 1 Or ‘in this world … in eternity’. 2And if anyone tries to harm you, treat him well and pray for him, and you will be delivered 2 Lit. ‘redeemed’. by the Lord from every evil. 3For you know well enough 3 Lit. ‘For behold, you see’. that it was because of my endurance that I married a daughter of my masters; and a hundred talents of gold were given me with her, for the Lord made them as if they were my slaves. 4And he gave me beauty also, like a flower, surpassing the beauties of Israel; and he preserved me into old age in strength and in splendour, because I was like Jacob in everything.

XIX.

1,2Listen, my children, also to the visions 1 So b c: all other witnesses, including Arm., read singular. that I saw. There were twelve stags feeding, and nine of them were dispersed and scattered 2 So bkl (g?): all others, including Arm., om. ‘dispersed and’. over the earth, 3 So bk: II ‘over all the earth’; Arm. om. and so also were the other three 4 For ‘and … three’ Arm., reads ‘but three were saved; and on the next day they too were scattered’. For verses 3–7 only Arm. is extant: whether it has preserved the original Gk. text, either as a whole or in part, is not clear: the following is M. E. Stone's translation in his The Armenian Version of the Testament of Joseph: Introduction, Critical Edition, and Translation (S.B.L. Texts and Translations Series, 6: Pseudepigrapha Series, 5; Missoula, Montana, 1975, pp. 53–55): And I saw that the three stags became three lambs and they cried out to the Lord and he brought them forth out of darkness into light and he brought them to a green and watered place. And there they cried out to the Lord until the nine stags were gathered to them and they became like twelve sheep, and after a little they increased and became many flocks. After this I saw and, behold, twelve bulls which were sucking the one cow which, through the vast amount of her milk, was making a sea. And the twelve flocks and the innumerable herds were drinking from it. And the horns of the fourth bull were elevated up to the heavens and became like a wall for the flocks and another horn flowered between the horns. And I saw a calf which circled it twelve times and became an aid to the bulls altogether. . … 8And I saw that from Judah was born a virgin wearing a linen robe, and from her came forth a lamb without blemish; and on his left hand there was as it were a lion; and all the animals made an assault on him, but 5 Lit. ‘and’. the lamb overcame them and destroyed them and trampled them underfoot. 9And the angels rejoiced because of him, and men rejoiced also, and the whole earth. 6 In verses 8 and 9 Arm. has a number of variants which are not likely to be original. Nevertheless the Armenian text of these verses is given (for information) in Stone's translation: And I saw among the horns a virgin who had a many-coloured garment and from her a lamb went forth. And from its right side all wild beasts and creeping things attacked and the lamb overcame them and destroyed them. And the bulls and the cow and the three horns were glad because of it and rejoiced with it. The variants in Arm. in verses 10–12 (mainly omissions) have not been thought worth recording. 10And these things shall come to pass at their proper time, in the last days. 11So you must, my children, observe the Lord's commands, and honour Judah and Levi, for from them shall come 7 Lit. ‘arise’. to you the Lamb of God, who by grace will save all the Gentiles and Israel. 12For his kingdom is an eternal kingdom, that shall not be shaken. But my kingdom among you shall come to an end like a watchman's hut in a fruit-garden, for after the summer it will disappear.

XX.

1I know that after my death the Egyptians will oppress you, but God will avenge you and will bring you into the land he promised to your fathers. 1 bk ‘into the promise of your fathers’; glefc ‘into the promises of your fathers’; d ‘into the land of the promise of your fathers’; mahi are lacking. 2But you must take my bones up with you; for while my bones are on the way, the Lord will be with you in light, and Beliar will be in darkness with the Egyptians. 3And take up your mother Zilpah also, and bury her near Bilhah, 2 Cp. Jub. xxxiv. 16. by the hippodrome, 3 Cp. Gen. xlviii. 7 (LXX). close to Rachel. 4And when he had finished speaking, he stretched out his feet and slept the eternal sleep. 5And all Israel 6mourned for him, and all Egypt, with a great mourning; for he had felt for the Egyptians as if they were part of himself, 4 Lit. ‘as for his own limbs’. and he had helped them and stood by them in all their undertakings and plans and business matters.

Notes:

1 Lit. ‘and’.

2 So b l: II-l ‘the Lord of all’.

3 So II (lit. ‘in envyings with my fellow-servants’): b ‘envied and tricked’ (lit. ‘in envyings with tricks’).

1 Lit. ‘Pharoah's chief-cook’: already in the Gk. Old Testament the title seems to have changed its meaning (cp. especially Dan. ii. 14 , in both the Septuagint and Theodotion's translation, with Josephus, Ant. X. x. 3 (§197)).

2 So b: II ‘delivered me’.

3 Lit. ‘and’.

4 Lit. ‘great’.

1 The text here is very confused, the MSS varying between ‘the words of my fathers’ and ‘the words of my father’ (with or without ‘Jacob’): b combines all possibilities and reads ‘the words of the fathers and of my father Jacob’ (cp. Jub. xxxix. 6): the text translated is found only in d.

2 Lit. ‘and’.

3 i.e. to Potiphar.

4 Lit. ‘for those who fast for God's sake receive grace of face’.

5 So II-l d: b (l) d (?) ‘And if he gave me wine I would not drink it’.

6 So b d: II-d om. ‘And at first’.

7 Lit. ‘male child…a male’.

8 So b: II om.

9 Lit. ‘she lured me’.

10 So b: II ‘return’.

1 Lit. ‘In all these things’.

2 So b: II ‘lie with me’.

3 Lit. ‘… give up idols, walking (pl.) in the law of your Lord’.

4 So II (lit. ‘wills’): b ‘says’.

1 Lit. ‘this evil deed’.

1 Or ‘I realized that her scheme was’

2 Lit. ‘I do not approach idols’.

3 Lit. ‘kept it’.

1 So b: II ‘was still set’.

2 Lit. ‘…set on me with a view to licentiousness’.

3 So b: II ‘and looking sad’.

4 Lit. ‘Why has your face fallen?’

5 Lit. ‘was still outside’.

6 So b: II ‘if you will not lie with me’.

7 Lit. ‘that I shall enjoy my desire’.

8 Lit. ‘he takes it towards an evil desire’.

1 So II: b adds ‘to her husband’.

2 So II: b wrongly repeats ‘the Egyptian sent me to the prison in his house’.

3 So b (lit. ‘being’): II om.

4 Lit. ‘– only that by the occasion I had been set free.…’

1 So l (lit. ‘in the inner rooms of palaces’): gm eaf (with a one-letter difference in the Gk.) ‘in the inner rooms of kings’; b ‘in inner rooms’.

2 So b: II ‘And if the man…too, and the Most High…’

1 So II: b om. ‘or darkness’.

2 So b: II ‘…in my mind…in my heart’.

3 Lit. ‘and because of fear of them’.

1 So II: b om. ‘before your eyes’.

2 So II: b ‘in what you do’.

3 Or ‘with the profits of their trading’.

4 Lit. ‘and he multiplied him in silver and gold’.

1 So II-g: b g om. ‘in a chariot’.

2 Lit. ‘for favour from heaven’.

1 Lit. ‘souls’.

2 So b: II ‘the land of Canaan’.

3 So II: b om. ‘in his statement’.

4 The bracketed words in verses 7 and 8 are not found in II.

5 So II: b ‘out of Canaan’.

6 And he did not…said: so b; II ‘And he said to me’.

1 Lit. ‘Your judgement’.

2 This is implied in all MSS and added explicitly in g l d m Arm.

3 So b: II ‘and the boy, he said, must be kept in prison’.

1 So II: b ‘in Canaan’.

2 So b: II adds ‘for you’.

3 So b (lit. ‘And again I wanted to weep’): II ‘And I wanted very much to weep’.

4 So b: II ‘for they heard’.

5 Or ‘And he sent us away’. The text of verses 6 and 7 is clearly in disarray. In verse 7 there are wide variations between the MSS, from no one of which, when taken by itself, is it possible to construct a consistent sense, nor, when all are taken together, is it possible to reconstruct a hypothetical original with any degree of probability. The translation offered is a fairly literal rendering of what is found in b.

1 So most MSS. In b g d c there is an omission through homioteleuton resulting in the whole verse appearing as ‘And he (she?) sent a eunuch to the Ishmaelites and asked them to sell me’.

2 So b: II om. ‘to come to an agreement with them’.

3 So b: II ‘And although I knew it’.

4 Or ‘tortured’. So b: II ‘put to shame’ (g d m have an obviously secondary form of the sentence, ‘so that I should not shame the eunuch’ – cp. xi. 2, xv. 3, xvii. 1).

1 So b: II om. ‘they were astonished’.

2 Lit. ‘soul’.

3 So II: b ‘my will their will’.

1 Or ‘in this world … in eternity’.

2 Lit. ‘redeemed’.

3 Lit. ‘For behold, you see’.

1 So b c: all other witnesses, including Arm., read singular.

2 So bkl (g?): all others, including Arm., om. ‘dispersed and’.

3 So bk: II ‘over all the earth’; Arm. om.

4 For ‘and … three’ Arm., reads ‘but three were saved; and on the next day they too were scattered’. For verses 3–7 only Arm. is extant: whether it has preserved the original Gk. text, either as a whole or in part, is not clear: the following is M. E. Stone's translation in his The Armenian Version of the Testament of Joseph: Introduction, Critical Edition, and Translation (S.B.L. Texts and Translations Series, 6: Pseudepigrapha Series, 5; Missoula, Montana, 1975, pp. 53–55):

And I saw that the three stags became three lambs and they cried out to the Lord and he brought them forth out of darkness into light and he brought them to a green and watered place. And there they cried out to the Lord until the nine stags were gathered to them and they became like twelve sheep, and after a little they increased and became many flocks.

After this I saw and, behold, twelve bulls which were sucking the one cow which, through the vast amount of her milk, was making a sea. And the twelve flocks and the innumerable herds were drinking from it. And the horns of the fourth bull were elevated up to the heavens and became like a wall for the flocks and another horn flowered between the horns. And I saw a calf which circled it twelve times and became an aid to the bulls altogether.

5 Lit. ‘and’.

6 In verses 8 and 9 Arm. has a number of variants which are not likely to be original. Nevertheless the Armenian text of these verses is given (for information) in Stone's translation:

And I saw among the horns a virgin who had a many-coloured garment and from her a lamb went forth. And from its right side all wild beasts and creeping things attacked and the lamb overcame them and destroyed them. And the bulls and the cow and the three horns were glad because of it and rejoiced with it.

The variants in Arm. in verses 10–12 (mainly omissions) have not been thought worth recording.

7 Lit. ‘arise’.

1 bk ‘into the promise of your fathers’; glefc ‘into the promises of your fathers’; d ‘into the land of the promise of your fathers’; mahi are lacking.

2 Cp. Jub. xxxiv. 16.

3 Cp. Gen. xlviii. 7 (LXX).

4 Lit. ‘as for his own limbs’.

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